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against al qaeda and associated groups outside of afghanistan, pakistan and iraq. director leon panetta expressed concerns on the shifting to other places most notably in yemen, somalia, north africa, and i hope he will address what you see as the appropriate role for the special operation forces in those aeas. in announcing lieutenant general allan's nomination, president obama called him, quote, the flight commander to take over the vital mission in afghanistan. if confirmed, the general will have big boots to fill and succeeding general petraeus commander of the 49 member international security assistance force coalition and u.s. forces aghanistan. like general petraeus, general allen brings an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the counterinsurgency effort based on his own experience as the coander in anbar province in iraq. working with the sunni awakening the marines andanbar succeeded in getting local sunni tribal leaders to reject the insurgency and instead support the iraqi government and its the deputy commander at u.s. central command general ellen has developed a
in afghanistan, pakistan, yemen. and i urge this subcommittee to let somalia to guide your policy on somalia rather than any other country. >> i echo my colleagues sentiments. to answer your question, i think we need to look at not only the threat that emanates from there, which does affect our way of life, the freedoms that we enjoy, commerce, threats to navigation, the very real threat irrespective of how are when they got there, the fact that al shabaab has been possible to other terrorist movements and extremist groups allowing them to operate in somalia creating a hodgepodge of characters gathered there, introducing them to reach other, including introducing them to the 30 americans with european and australian passports that of now gone through. for all of those reasons, we need to be concerned. we need to be concerned because we take for granted the areas in somalia and it is not the chaos that we imagine, but south central areas mainly where the conflict is. as the ambassador said earlier, it has been one of the most democratic states in the region. they have its problems, some of wh
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